The Need for Community
Lord, help me to come to You in full assurance of faith, and to trust You to help for all that I face today.
Read Hebrews 10:19-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“To be truly biblical, as well as truly effective, the growth process must include the Body of Christ” (Henry Cloud).
The theological argument is complete, and is followed by a vigorous exhortation to live confidently in the light of Christ. Baptized believers (“washed with pure water,” v. 22), cleansed of their guilt through the cross, are to approach the Most Holy Place, the presence of God, as though they belonged there. Because they do! They are members of God’s household (21), brothers and sisters to Jesus (2:11), so they are to come “in full assurance of faith” (22).
This is not an escape from the tough business of living for Christ in a world which does not acknowledge him. Faith is about confident trust in God for the resources to engage with the difficult reality around us. According to the following chapter, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (11:1). Jim Wallis calls it “believing God despite the evidence, and watching the evidence change before your eyes.” The basis for this faith has nothing to do with the nature or scale of our circumstances. It is based in the faithfulness of God, who fulfilled his promises through his Son and will continue to do so.
The striking characteristic of this passage is that all the exhortations are plural. “We,” “us” and “our” fill the page. Discipleship is God’s family affair. Individually and collectively, we are to trust God and encourage one another to do so. Vigorous encouragement and disciplined meeting together are required. We are to spur one another on (24), and spurs can be sharp! Christians meet together regularly to help one another be faithful to Jesus and to stand together as a public witness. The Church is not only the fruit of Christ’s cross, it is his gift to his brothers and sisters to help them remain faithful. We become lone-wolf Christians at our own peril, and that of others, too.
What sort of fellowship do you experience? Is it the in-your-face mutual encouragement for discipleship advocated by this passage?
Father, I thank You for believers who guided and encouraged me in my Christian faith. I also thank You for others who have challenged me to learn and grow.
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